Nonprofit Board Fellows

The Nonprofit Board Fellowship matches Wharton MBA and Penn Law JD students with Philadelphia’s nonprofit organizations.

The NBF provides a unique opportunity for Philadelphia-area nonprofit boards to connect with the University of Pennsylvania, and for students enrolled in select graduate programs at Penn to get involved in the Philadelphia community.

The program matches fellows to the boards of nonprofits in the greater Philadelphia area for one year where they serve in the role of “apprentice board member.”

Students with either prior or no prior nonprofit board experience can apply to become a Nonprofit Board Fellow.  Nonprofit Board Fellows gain valuable board experience while supporting the mission of a partner organization. Fellows simultaneously participate in on-campus trainings and meetings aimed at supporting their development in the apprentice board member role.


Our mission is to advance the development of MBA and JD students who want — and have the potential — to be future civic leaders.


Through a competitive application process, we select students who best exemplify dedication to service, passion for mission, humility, interest in peer-led learning, and commitment to personal leadership development.


  • Placement: we place over 40 fellows to serve as visiting, non-voting board members on an equal number of nonprofit boards in Philadelphia;
  • Training: board fellows engage with a 14-month nonprofit board service training curriculum focused on the nonprofit sector, board governance, and leadership development;
  • Shared learning: as a community of like-minded individuals, the fellows participate in frequent and ongoing opportunities to reflect on their experience and share learning.



Late November – December: Application is open
January – February: Interviews
February – March: Decisions and Fellow matching
Spring (ongoing): Full-day Spring Training + 4 Evening Trainings + Transition Dinner + Brunch


September: Welcome Back Event
Fall (ongoing): Pods, All Fellows Meetings, Subcommittee Meetings, Board Meetings, Community Social Events
October: Fall Training
November: Pod Dinners
Spring: Closing Training + Transition Dinner

Deadline Approaching

The 2020-2021 application for fellows closes on Monday, December 9 at 11:59pm. Please note that MBA students may only apply in their 1st year.

Missed the information sessions?  Click below for the slide deck.

Staff Contacts

Dan Kaufman, Associate Director

Get Involved

Nonprofit Board Fellowships
Partnering organizations

Serve A Mission

Interested in learning what board service is all about?

MBA and JD students with and without board experience can apply to become a board fellow.

To learn more, click the button below.

Become A Partner

Sound like a good fit for your board?

Nonprofit organizations interested in hosting a board fellow can apply online.

To learn more, click the button below.

The Wharton Nonprofit Board Fellows Program is generously supported by

Brandywine Global Investment Management, LLC.